A Practical Grammar of the Latin Language/Lesson 4

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Of the Third Declension.[edit]

  • A. Substantives and adjectives of the third declension have their genitive in is. The terminations of the nominative are numerous, some ending in one of the vowels a, e, i, o, y, and others in one of the consonants c, (d), l, n, r, s, t, x. This declension comprises nouns of every gender.

Nouns ending in a, e, i, y, c, l,1 and t are neuter.

Nouns in o, or, os, and eus are generally masculine, but sometimes of other genders.

Those in as, aus, es, is, ys, bs, ns, and ps are generally feminine, sometimes masculine.

Those in er and n are masculine and neuter.

Lapis, m., a stone. Vestis, f., a garment
Nom. a stone lapis the garment vestis
Gen. of a stone lapidis of the garment vestis
Dat. to a stone lapidī to the garment vestī
Acc. a stone lapidem the garment vestem
Voc. O stone lapis O the garment vestis
Abl. with a stone lapide. with the garment veste.
Canis, m. & f,2 the dog. *Tībiāle, n., the stocking.
Nom. the dog canis the stocking tībiāle
Gen. of the dog canis of the stocking tībiālis
Dat. to the dog canī to the stocking tībiālī
Acc. the dog canem the stocking tībiāle
Voc. O dog canis O stocking tībiāle
Abl. with the dog cane. with the stocking tībiālī.3
Sartor, m. the tailor. Caput, n., the head.
Nom. the tailor sartor the head caput
Gen. of the tailor sartōris of the head capitis
Dat. to the tailor sartōrī to the head capitī
Acc. the tailor sartōrem the head caput
Voc. O tailor sartor O the head caput
Abl. with the tailor sartōre. with the head capite.
Frāter, m. the brother. Sāl, m. & n., the salt.
Nom. the brother frāter the salt sāl
Gen. of the brother frātris of the salt salis
Dat. to the brother frātrī to the salt salī
Acc. the brother frātrem the salt salem, sāl
Voc. O brother frāter O salt sāl
Abl. with the brother frātre. with the salt sale or -ī.

Remark.—The final e of the ablative of the third declension is always short, and the final i long.

Masc. Fem. Neut.
It. Nom. Is ea id.
Acc. Eum eam id.
  • B. Obs. The pronoun is, ea, id must be put in the same case and gender as the substantive for which it stands.

Not; no.Nōn; nōn vērō, minimē.

I have not. Nōn habeō.
No, Sir. Nōn (minimē) vērō, domine.
Have you the table? Habēsne mēnsam?
No, Sir, I have it not. Minimē, domine; (eam) nōn habeō.
Nōn habeō, domine, nōn.
Have you the hat? An habēs pilleum?
No, Sir, I have it not. Minimē, domine; (eum) nōn habeō.
Have you the sugar? Num habēs saccharum?
I have it not. Nōn habeō.
  • D. Obs. The English idiom requires here id nōn habeō. In Latin, however, the pronoun is, ea, id is frequently omitted, when it would have to stand in the same case as the noun to which it relates.
The coat. *Toga, ae, f.
The cloth. Pannus, ī, m.
The horse. Equus, ī, m.
The shoe. *Calceus, ī, m.
The thread. Fīlum, ī, n.
The candlestick. Candēlābrum, ī, n.
The wood. Lignum, ī, n.
The leather. Corium, ī, n.
The lead. Plumbum, ī, n.
The gold. Aurum, ī, n.

Of.Ē, ex.

  • E. Obs. The preposition ē or ex is followed by the ablative. Ē can be put before consonants only, ex before vowels and consonants both.
Of gold. Ex aurō, aureus, a, um.
Of cloth. Ē pannō.
  • F. Obs. The material of which anything is made may either be expressed by the ablative of a substantive with ē or ex, or by means of an adjective in eus. Thus:—
Wooden or of wood. Ligneus, a, um.
Paper or of paper. Chartāceus, a, um.
Leather or of leather. Scorteus, a, um or ē coriō.
Leaden or of lead. Plumbeus, a, um, or ē plumbō.
Linen or of linen. Linteus, a, um.
Stone or of stone. Lapideus, a, um.
Saxeus, a, um.
Pretty. Bellus, a, um.
Venustus, a, um.
The paper hat. Nom. Pilleus chartāceus.
Acc. Pilleum chartāceum.
The wooden table. Nom. Mēnsa lignea.
Acc. Mēnsam ligneam.
The linen (thread) stocking. Nom. & Acc. Tibiāle linteum.
The golden candlestick. Nom. & Acc. Candēlābrum aureum or ex aurō.
The horse of stone. Nom. Equus lapideus.
Acc. Equum lapideum.
The golden ribbon. Nom. Taenia aurea.
Acc. Taeniam auream.
The cloth coat. Toga ē4 pannō.
Togam ē pannō.
Have you the paper hat? Num habēs pilleum chartāceum?
No, Sir, I have it not. Eum nōn habeō, domine, nōn.
Nōn, domine; eum nōn habeō.
Have you the stone table? An habēs mēnsam lapideam?
I have it not. (Eam) nōn habeō.

Of the Genitive of the Third Declension.[edit]

  • G. From the paradigms of this lesson it will be perceived, that substantives of this declension vary considerably as to the manner, in which they assume the characteristic termination of the genitive. The following rules are intended to give the learner some insight into the extent of this variation.5
  1. Nouns in a change a into atis, as poēma, poēmatis, n., a poem.
  2. Nouns in e change e into is, as cubīle, cubīlis, n., a couch.
  3. Those in i6 are generally indeclinable, but sometimes have itos, as hydromeli, hydromelitos, n., mead.
  4. Those in y add os, as misy, misyos, n., vitriol.
  5. O commonly becomes ōnis, as sermō, sermōnis, m., speech. But do and go become dinis and ginis, as grandō, grandinis, f., hail; origō, originis, f., origin.7
  6. Nouns in c, d, l, n simply add is, as hālec, hālecis, n. & f., a sort of pickle; David, Davidis, m., a man's name; cubital, cubitālis, n., a cushion; rēn, rēnis, m., the kidney.7
  7. Those in ar, er, or, and ur commonly add likewise is, as nectar, nectaris, n., nectar; ānser, ānseris, m., a goose; lector, lectōris, m., a reader; sulphur, sulphuris, n., sulphur.9
  8. Those in as generally change as into ātis, as vēritās, vēritātis, f., truth.10
  9. The only nouns in aes are aes, n., brass, and praes, m., bondsman, which have aeris and praedis.
  10. Nouns in aus have audis, as laus, laudis, f., praise; fraus, fraudis, f., fraud.
  11. Those in es generally change es into is, as famēs, famis, f., hunger; rūpēs, rūpis, f., a rock; but sometimes into ēdis, ītis, or eris as hērēs, hērēdis, m., an heir; mīles, mīlitis, m., a soldier; Ceres, Cereris, f., the goddess Ceres.
  12. Nouns in is have commonly is, as apis, is, f., a bee; ovis, is, f., a sheep; but sometimes also eris, inis, ītis, or idis, as pulvis, pulveris. m., dust; sanguis, sanguinis, m., blood; lapis, lapidis, m., a stone; Quiris, Quirītis, m., a Roman.—Sēmis, m., one half, has sēmissis.
  13. Those in os change os into ōtis, as sacerdōs, -ōtis, m., a priest; nepōs, -ōtis, m., a grandson; but also into ōdis, ōis and oris, as custōs, -ōdis, m., a keeper; hērōs, -ōis, m., a hero; rōs, rōris, m., dew.11
  14. The termination us becomes oris, eris, uris, ūdis (ūtis), or odis, as corpus, -oris, n., a body; opus, -eris, n., a word; crūs, crūris, n., the leg; incūs, -ūdis, f., an anvil; salūs, -ūtis, f., safety; tripūs, -odis, m., a tripod.
  15. Greek nouns in eus have eos, as Orpheus, Orpheos, &c.
  16. Nouns in ls, ns, and rs change s into tis or dis, as puls, -tis, f., a sort of pap; pars, -tis, f., a part; glāns, -dis, f., any kernel-fruit; sepēns, -tis, f., a serpent.
  17. Those in bs, ps, and ms have bis, pis, and mis, as urbs, -bis, f., a city; stirps, -pis, m. & f., offspring; hiems, hiems, f., winter.12
  18. The only nouns in t are caput, capitis, m., the head, and its compounds, occiput, -itis, &c.
  19. Nouns in x change this letter into cis or gis, as vox, vōcis, f., the voice; calix, calicis, m., a cup; rēx, rēgis, m., a king; cōdex, cōdicis, m., a book.—But nix, f., snow, has nivis; nox, f., night, noctis; senex, adj, old, senis or senicis; and supellex, f., furniture, supellectilis.

Exercise 3.[edit]

See the answers here.

  1. Have you the wooden table?—No, Sir, I have it not.
  2. Which table have you?—I have the stone table.
  3. Have you my golden candlestick?—I have it not.
  4. Which stocking have you?—I have the thread stocking.
  5. Have you my thread stocking?—I have not your thread stocking.
  6. Which coat have you?—I have my cloth coat.
  7. Which horse have you?—I have the wooden horse.
  8. Have you my leathern shoe?—I have it not.
  9. Have you the leaden horse?—I have it not.
  10. Have you your good wooden horse?—I have it not.
  11. Which wood have you?—I have your good wood.
  12. Have you my good gold?—I have it not.
  13. Which gold have you?—I have the good gold.
  14. Which stone have you?—I have your fine stone.
  15. Which ribbon have you?—I have your golden ribbon.
  16. Have you my fine dog?—I have it.
  17. Have you my ugly horse?—I have it not.


1 Nouns in l are generally neuter, but sometimes masculine.
2 Nouns which are sometimes masculine and sometimes feminine, according to the context, are said to be of the common gender. So adolēscēns and juvenis, m. & f., a young man or woman; conjūx, m. & f., a husband or a wife; īnfāns, m. & f., an infant; and a number of others. Nouns of which the gender is unsettled are said to be of the doubtful gender; as diēs, m. & f., a day; penus, m., f., & n., provisions.
3 Neuters ending in e, al and ar have ī in the ablative instead of e; as mare, marī; animal, animālī; calcar, calcārī. Except sāl, far, baccar, jubar, hēpar, and nectar, which retain the e.
4 Prepositions before their cases are not accented.
5 These rules, though not directly connected with the exercises of this lesson, are yet recommended to the careful attention of the student.
6 Nouns in i and y are Greek, and so are their genitives itos and yos.
7 A number of other nouns in o have likewise inis, as homō, a man; nēmō, nobody; Apollō, &c.—Carō, flesh, f., has carnis, and Aniō, m., the name of a river, Antēnis.
8 But lac, n., milk, has lactis, and those in men have minis, as nūmen, nūminis, n., the deity. Greek nouns in on have onis and ontis, as īcon, īconis, f., an image; Acherōn, ontis, m., name of a river.
9 But those in ber and ter have bris and tris, as Octōber, Octōbris; pater, patris, m., a father. Some in ur have oris, as ebur, eboris, n., ivory, &c—Jecur, n., the liver, has jecuris, or jecinoris, and hēpar, n., the liver, hēpatis or hēpatos; cor, n., the heart, has cordis; iter, n., a journey, itineris, and Jūpiter, m., Jovis.
10 Greek nouns in as have antis and adis (or ados, as gīgas, gīgantis, m., a giant; lampas, lampadis or lampados, f., a lamp. other exceptions are: ās, assis, m., a coin; mās, maris, m., a male; vas, vadis, m., a surety, and vās, vāsis, m., a vessel.
11 Ōs, n., the mouth, has ōris, but os, n., a bone, has ossis. The genitive of bōs, m. & f., an ox or cow, is bōvis.
12 But the adjective caelebes, single, has caelibis and the compounds of ceps have ipis, as princeps, -ipis, the foremost. The genitive of anceps, doubtful, is ancipitis.